Wednesday, December 7, 2011

eat; fakas

I am soooo feeling for all my friends in the Northern Hemisphere who are starting to experience the onset of winter. Oh dear, no thanks! We actually had a very cold weekend just gone by and it made me want to quit the salads I've been making and get onto what I imagine to be my last attempt at soup for quite a few months...well, maybe a good cold gazpacho will come out in the heat of mid summer! Today's post will be such a great one for all of you about to hit those upcoming cold months. This soup takes a while to cook on the stove and will warm up the house while doing so! It freezes well, which means a big pot of it will not go to waste! Love that!

Fakas is a Greek Lentil soup and one I have had many times at my friends mums house. She also makes a great chickpea soup which I will have to get my hands on the recipe soon for you all. Enjoy making this soup. Preparation is easy and watching this soup thicken up into a hearty meal is such fun between Facebook updates and checking your emails! LOL!
What you need;
1 1/2 cups brown lentils
1 large carrot
1 med onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbls olive oil
2 Bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 litre water
1 Tbls tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste

Start by soaking the lentils for at least six hours, overnight will be fine. Rinse and set aside as you chop the other ingredients. Crush the galic, chop the carrots into tiny cubes and ditto with the onions.

Pour the oil into your pot and when hot, add the garlic, carrot and onion and cook until the onion becomes transparent. Add the lentils, bay leaves, oregano and rosemary. Add the water and bring to the boil. Turn the flame down to simmer for about an hour.

Time to check your Facebook news feed! The soup only needs the occasional stir and may need a little more water. Once the hour is up, add the tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste and cook for a further 10 minutes. The great thing about this soup is that you cannot overcook it. The longer it cooks, the creamier it will become.

Vola! Soup is made! Buon Appetito!

I like to serve this soup with a yummy bread that is toasted, drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with a clove of garlic. YUM!

Another handy hint is to freeze the remainder of the tomato paste. To do this, measure out a tablespoon onto a chopping board covered in cling wrap and then freeze on the board. Once frozen, wrap each portion with cling wrap and place into a container. No more moldy jars of tomato paste in the refrigerator!

pink; oink

Video Still

I would LOVE to yap on about my own work in today's post as my exhibition at BUS Projects is still on (until the 17th of December if in Melbourne, Australia!) but pink does not appear in the work at all! You can check it out here on my other blog, which will surely satisfy the curious :0) 

It's been absolutely jumping here in Melbourne with graduation exhibitions at every art college signifying the end of an era for the studying artists. The other night, I went along to my college, the Victorian College of the Arts to check out the MFA show. WOW! Talk about overwhelmed! The whole art department was decked out with art from floor to ceiling, each graduating student given the largest exhibition space they will have for a while!

Pip Ryan is a friend of mine and she is graduating from the MFA program at the VCA this year. She installed her work in the photography department, darkening the space, projecting within doorways and using both small and large spaces to create a bizarre world of 'living' toy animals. As I began to write this post, I couldn't help but think of the childrens nursery rhyme about a farmer named Old MacDonald.
Old MacDonald had a farm, EE-I-EE-I-O,
And on that farm he had a [animal name], EE-I-EE-I-O,
With a [animal noise twice] here and a [animal noise twice] there
Here a [animal noise], there a [animal noise], everywhere a [animal noise twice]
Old MacDonald had a farm, EE-I-EE-I-O.
But Ryan's animals are very different to Old MacDonald's, that's for sure! A toy zoo of sorts, filled with wind up mice speeding around with no where to go, a giant sized gorrila beating a drum demanding our attention, a pig that oinked oppostie a duck that quacked, Pip Ryans world was created for us to meander through, watching these creeped out toy animals in their 'natural' environment, afterall, what is a 'natural' environment for an animal that is a plastic toy anyway? The animals all projected a sense of wishing they were real. The mouse spining in a crazy sped up circle, determined to become a real mouse with every sharp turn or knock against the wall, the toy duck quaked at unusual intervals; definitely not in a way a programed toy should behave and the gorrila?..let's just not go there!

Of course the pig stood out for me as it was the only pink animal in Ryan's toy zoo. Watching the 14 second video preview above gives a great sense of what the artist was trying to achieve. A plastic pig is manipulated to 'behave' as it's real-life cousin with a wire forcefully tugging and pulling at it's midriff making it oink on demand.  The human hand is hidden; the artists hand manipulating the wire and the hand that initially created the pig (most likely Chinese hands). Occasionally the artists hand does come into shot  reminding us (or is it the pig?) that no matter how natural this pig tries to behave, it is no real pig at the end of the day.  It is a human-made pig manipulated by the hand of a human to resemble and behave like a real pig. Simple. How can it really compete?

All of Ryan's animals showed struggle with this fact. I love this video and was completely mesmerized by this little pig, captivated by it's struggle, yet compelled by it's cute and adorable animated facial features. This is how we want pigs to look, right? Clean, cute, a wonderful shade of pink and creating such adorable sounds. Hmmm. The struggle us humans have with what is real and what we want our reality to be.

Pip Ryans work can be viewed at the Victorian College of the Arts until December 11th 12-5pm.

love; ten things i love this week

Well it's been a few weeks since my last post and soooooo much has happened that I am grateful for, it's crazy to only come up with ten! But I will try!

1. Creating work again! Yes it's been a while since I got out the saw and hammer to create a work but let me tell you, I certainly have the bug to work with wood again! LOVE!!!

2. Having help installing my show. Seriously, how great are friends when they come along to help out with something that means sooo much to you?!?!?! Thanks again guys (you know who you are ;0)

3. Opening night of my exhibition. Really, I think that's what most artists look forward to when making! Well, maybe just me. I always did love Show and Tell as a kid in Primary school! LOVE!!!!

4. My birthday with the fam :0) Yep, same Italian cake for every event in our family since 1974! LOVE!

5. Coming across this yesterday at the coffee shop near the gallery. LOVE!!!

6. Receiving an IPhone3G hand-me-down. WOW!!! Talk about changing my life! Now I check my emails and whats going on on F.B about 50 times a day rather than the usual 20! LOL! LOVE!


 7. PROCRASTIBAKING!!!!! What a great term! My friend Mel told me that's what I was doing when I spent the WHOLE day baking Italian biscuits and cake instead of actually doing my artwork! LOVE! 

8. Buying my mum a new stove! She wont accept rent from me so I decided to buy her this AMAZING stove. LOVE!!!

9. Getting yet another friend hooked on green smoothies!!!! YAY!!!!

10. Having time to write again! I have missed writing for eatpinklove and also myyearincarousel. I do love it and looking forward to writing more! LOVE!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

love; ten things i love this week

1. Ok, Halloween is sooooo over but I couldn't help but mention it in this weeks post as I  missed not being in the States for it! A friend of mine shared this link on F.B. Now this is when Halloween was scary and home-made, not sexy and polished! LOVE!

2. I may be a little Halloween obsessed but how could I not direct you all to these amazing pumpkin carvings even if Halloween is sooooo over! LOVE! 

3. Filming! I do LOVE being in a film studio. It is actually one of the most natural environments I have ever experienced! LOVE!1!
4. Becoming a finalist in the Toyota Travel Award! Even though I didn't win, I loved the opportunity to 'show and tell' my work to a panel. Scarey and nerve racking to begin with but I totally fell into a wonderful feeling after the third slide and enjoyed the process! LOVE!

5. All the supportive comments on F.B by you guys about my talk to the Toyota execs. Really blown away by your amazingness! THANKS!!!

6. These photos of pets with a disability by Carli Davidson. LOVE!!!

7. Finding out my application was approved for the Summer Residency Program held at Victoria University for January! WOW! A HUGE free studio and the opportunity to inspire some students! YAY! LOVE!

8. This personality test! Totally follow the link and do it! You will get a HUGE report at the end and it will tell you exactly what your strengths and weaknesses are and what drives you! LOVE!!!

9. This 60 year project!!! LOVE IT! Thanks Nat!

10. Working on my up coming exhibition. Can't show you any pics yet (even though I really want to!) but let me tell you, I"M LOVING IT!!!! Oh and sending invites to all my friends O.S. Sad you guys can;t make it but LOVE the idea of the invite stuck to your fridges!

pink; mystic heather

I came across this photograph a while back in search of pink works and was waiting for the perfect moment to write about it. Today's post is just that. You see, I have three friends who are in New York at this very moment. Well, actually two. One has just left after a four month stint at living in the Big Apple. The other two have set up shop; one indefinitely and the other calling New York home for the next year.
Tim Barber is a New York based photographer and the reason why this particular photograph has caught my attention is because of the what it stirs up in me as I look at it. New York is one of those places that EVERYONE loves, even before having visited. It has an incredibly loud history which seems to be stuck in everyones imagination and formed a sort of pseudo personal history within us all. It is the city of dreams, the place where anything can happen, where everything does happen.

I have spent three short visits to New York city and as most of you already know, I will be going to live there for six months next year. For me, any city needs to prove itself.  I'm not a person who simply falls for or adopts a common view of something. I like to experience it on my own terms, in my own way and then I will develop an opinion after I have had some sort of relationship with what ever it is; be it a city or something else.

The photograph above seems to capture a moment in a womans life of either surrender or victory.  New York is either her demon or her oyster. Is she embracing the city in communion with her successes within it or is she falling down in her failings with it? We are unsure of this womans story but the assumption is she is either about to jump to her death in surrender or she is playing with death by leaning and teasing into the city that is offering her everything she hoped for. Either ways, a feeling of danger is definitely evident.

Lately, Australians I have been talking with have asked me why I am so fascinated with America and it is simply because of it's sink or swim mentality. Here in Australia, we are a culture that is pretty laid back, floating through life as if riding in a well suspended vehicle that takes the shocks of bumps along the journey of life in it's stride, allowing for easy transitions as these bumps occur. America on the other hand, has no such journey installed for it's people. Americans ride in a vehicle with the worst suspension in the world, feeling every tiny little bump along the journey of life, changing it's course as a result. I like this feeling of unpredictability. It is what has made America so great in the past.

Cities within the States all have their own characteristics, allowing for very different experiences. New York City is a tough city, so everyone says. I am yet to experience it and develop my own opinion. I have no expectations of how my own experience of this historic, iconic place will unfold. I will find out next year when I do live there for six months and discover whether I will be feeling like I want to jump off a building in complete surrender, broken by the experience or be in complete happy communion with this 'great' city. Either ways, I know the experience of living in New York  City will be memorable and life changing, just as living in Beijing, Los Angeles and San Francisco were for me, altering the way I currently live my life and the values I currently hold true to my own experience as an artist.

eat; roasted pumpkin, rosemary and parmasen scones

With Halloween now in the shadows of our rush towards the end of the year, I decided to share with you what I created for my film crew a couple of weeks ago. Scones are one of those great things that are extremely versatile, easy to make and great when you have to come up with something quick for a get together with friends. They can be made sweet or savoury and the variations are endless! Try substituting the pumpkin with your favourite savoury combos like olive and feta cheese, or sun dried tomato and basil or sweet with dried apricots and vanilla bean or currents and cinnamon! YUM!

I really can't wait to get my camera. I'm not cooking so much now as I don't get the amazing results I was getting while using Nat's camera in L.A. You'll all hear about it when my camera finally makes it's way into my little hands!!!! Until then, just imagine how good these pics would look with a better camera! LOL!

Makes about 20 scones

1/2 Butternut pumpkin (squash)
a twig of fresh rosemary
splash of olive oil
4 cups Self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
100g chilled butter, cut into cubes
1 cup parmasen cheese
1 1/2 cups milk

Start by roasting the pumpkin. To do this, peel and cut the pumpkin into small bite size pieces. Place into a pan, add the rosemary by picking it off the twig and sprinkle a little salt and a splash of olive oil. Toss the whole thing to mix and place into a moderate oven for about half an hour.

Leaving the oven on, take out the cooked pumpkin and set aside until cool.

In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder. Add the butter and begin to 'crumb' it together by rubbing the butter into the flour. Making sure the butter is well mixed into the flour, add the roast pumpkin and cheese and mix through.

Now this is the tricky bit. The main thing about making scones is to NOT over-mix the dough!!! It is really tempting to keep mixing but DON'T! What I do at this stage is create the opposite to a well in the mixture so the flour mixture is piled up in the center so you add the milk to the sides of the bowl rather than the center.

Pour milk and with a knife, 'cut' the mixture to blend through the milk. Do not mix until doughy. Mix until just combined. It is ok for the mixture to be a little 'crumbly'.

Once cut through, flour a chopping board and lightly take two handfulls of dough and place it onto the floured board. Lightly press down to make a flat round circle about an inch thick. Cut the dough into eight wedges, cutting in half, than quarters, then eighths, like a pizza.

Gently place the cut scones onto a non-stick tray, brush with a little milk and sprinkle with extra parmasen. Bake in a 200C oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. 

These are best served warm but still taste great when cooled down.

 Buon Appetito!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

eat; monsoon spice

I'm totally like a MAD woman right now as I begin to prepare for my show at the end of November. Filming is happening this Wednesday night and I have lots and lots of wood to paint! This is taking up a lot of my time and I have been finding cooking is becoming a real treat with the lack of it I have  at the mo :0( so I'm making a big pot of food, placing it in the fridge and eating from that big pot over a couple of days.

With the cold weather here in Melbourne fighting with beautifully warm days, I have been craving big pots of Indian curry to have ready to go as I take a short break from working to feed! Indian food is one of my favourites to have in cold weather and I love cooking it more so than going to a restaurant to simply be served it. I think it's the process and attention to detail it requires from the cook. Many seeds and powders are used and their timely addition to your pot is EVERYTHING!

Today, I wanted to introduce you all to my favourite Indian website,  Monsoon Spice. It is created by an Indian woman named Sia living in the U.K who shares with us vegetarian recipes. I love lots of things about this website but one of my favs is her inclusion of tofu into her cooking. Even though I keep my intake of tofu to a minimum these days, I do enjoy a curry with it's inclusion and let me tell you, every single recipe I have followed from this blog works, without fail! It's crazy! I made the most amazing chapati bread the other week and I have never, ever made it before!

Do yourself a favour, make a list of spices you'll need to create one of Monsoon Spice's recipes, set aside sometime to make an amazing curry and enjoy the wonderful fragrances that will consume your kitchen!

Buon Apettito!